Above Mahmutlar 12 kilometres east of Alanya, there is a road to Konya on the left. This leads up to the İdris Mountain, which at 1652metres is the highest peak of the neighbouring mountains of Alanya. Mountain bikers, especially from the Netherlands and Denmark, use this 16 kilometre steep incline for training.

Visitors who are interested in history and archaeology should turn after 8 kilometres, in the village Gözüküçüklü, onto the gravel road as long as they are using a cross-country car (4 x 4). A ‘normal’ car has to be left in Gözüküçüklü and the occupants must walk the last 3 kilometres to the ruined city of Laertes. Along the whole route you can enjoy wonderful views over Mahmutlar as the road is at about 1000m along the edge of the mountain. Even in midsummer there is always a gentler breeze blowing here than at sea level.

Laertes was founded by the Hellenics and coins have been found embossed with the emperor Trajan. Later other cultures settled in Laertes, proven by some restoration work to buildings that is not in the same style as the foundation walls. The old market place can still be made out and on its north side you can see a kind of semicircular meeting room (Exedra). The old temples are almost unrecognisable now. To imagine the original magnificence, the visitor needs a good imagination but nevertheless Laertes is a really interesting historical city.

Tip: At the weekend Laertes is visited by local people and resident Europeans who choose this place as a meeting point for walking and trekking tours. Walkers/hikers must bring their own drinks because there are no shops or restaurants near Laertes.

Martin Bernhart